Antiques

100 Reasons to Shop Local

As we are approaching Thanksgiving we are bombarded with images of Black Friday specials, Black Friday memes, backlash of being open the day after Thanksgiving, among other things. Instead of worrying whether or not your favorite big corporation store is or is not open on Black Friday how about worrying about your local  mom and pop shop? Small businesses and local businesses account for over half of all sales in the United States ( US Small Business Bureau). While that may seem like a lot, there is still room to grow. While they account for over half of the sales, these small businesses are also some of the first businesses to shut their doors and close. Shopping small and local helps generate monies for the local economy and has a positive community impact. To celebrate all things small (because good things do come in small packages!), there is now Shop Small Saturday. It always falls the Saturday after Black Friday and promotes choosing those mom and pop shops or local products over other big name stores and products.

The AQT is all about small businesses and special home made goods. Most of our stops on the quilt trail feature antique stores, upsale stores, bakeries, farms, breweries, and so much more. To help you plan your Shop Small Saturday trip we compiled a list of 100 local shops in the East Tennessee region. These places are either stops on the quilt trail or are near them. There is a store for everybody. Variety is the spice of life on the AQT. Click the link and let your journey begin!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Winding roads, horses, honeysuckle, and quilt squares Pt. 1: Rutledge, TN

Sunny days just call for an adventure. Sunny days call for windows down, music blasting, and riding down a back road. Sunny days are filled with happiness and life. On this particularly sunny day the quilt trail was calling. It was calling out to be explored, to take the back roads and explore Rutledge, TN. Not knowing where to go, I took my AQT map, jotted down a few areas close to the historic Bryan House and let the quilt squares lead. On my way around these roads I encountered some of Spring/early Summer’s grandeur: box turtles, honeysuckle, wildflowers, horse foals, breeze blowing my hair, and friendly people willing to share some stories with me.

Stop 1: Flower Basket @ Holbrook Quilt Barn

Talk about taking the back road! I had to get off 11 W and follow a winding road to this farm. The road took me through pretty areas, such as roads filled with flowers, tomato farms, and of course mountains. Along the way I crossed a box turtle in the middle of the road! At first I thought it was a block of wood then the closer I approached I realized it was a box turtle. Luckily, I realized this in just enough time to let it finish crossing the road. Eventually I found myself at this waypoint on the AQT. I was greeted with such a lovely site, a baby horse!

 

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Stop 2: County Fair @ Country Shed Antiques

I drive past this every time I come into work and I have always been fascinated by  it. So today I let the road, this time the main road, take me there. I pull into a gravel driveway greeted again by horses. Stepping out of my car I felt as if I was transported back in time. Log cabins, an side house, are in my sight. A lady named Doris walked my way as I approached the antique store. Doris was a very friendly lady and was happy to tell me some facts about Country Shed Antiques. Country Shed Antiques is built onto a barn (you could have fooled me it looked so real! Like it was all one piece of property). The first part of the barn, besides the stalls, use to hold tobacco. If you go in the store that will be the room that looks like a kitchen. Originally Doris just had a gift shop, but then it kept expanding into what is now the Country Shed Antiques. If you are ever out this way do stop by. The antiques in this shop are very rustic and would fit into a cabin or old country home.  Cast iron skillets, corn pone skillets, mugs, quilts, even a carriage cart to be hooked up by a horse in available! Since it changes with the season, come back many times to see what is in store.

 

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Stay tuned for the second half of  my sunny day quilt adventure! More quilts, more flowers, more good times!